Clayton T. Christian

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Clayton T. Christian

Clayton Christian headshot

Clayton T. Christian has served as Montana’s Commissioner of Higher Education since January 2012.  He served six years as a member and chairman of Montana’s Board of Regents of Higher Education before assuming the chief administrative leadership post in the Montana University System.  His previous business experience includes title insurance and escrow services, real estate sales and development, commercial land ownership and management.  Born and raised in Montana’s Mission Valley, he is a graduate of the University of Montana with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Finance, Management and advanced studies in Economics.

The Montana University System enrolls about 47,000 students at 16 public colleges and universities.  Christian’s accomplishments in the Montana University System have included the hiring of excellent campus executive leadership, the advancement of two-year college education in Montana, strong state funding of all universities, innovative state investments in university-based research, and excellent relations and partnerships with private industry and Montana’s legislative and executive branch agencies.  As the chief administrative officer for a strong constitutional governing board, Christian has led successful system initiatives for better college affordability, college access, and student success.  On behalf of the board and in partnership with university presidents, he implemented performance-based funding with institutional incentives for student retention and degree production.  All of these measures have improved system accountability, transparency, productivity and the state’s confidence in higher education.

Christian’s private-sector executive experience includes ownership of the Stewart Title of Missoula title plant.  He also partnered with Stewart Title Guaranty (NYSE: STC) to open title companies in nine Montana communities.   He has served as District Manager for Stewart Title Guaranty overseeing agency relationships in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.  He has served as CEO with a number of title and insurance corporations and is an active member in the American Land Title Association.  Christian has been active in civic and public service efforts at the state and local levels.  His wife, Dawn, is a physical therapist and owner of Big Sky Physical Therapy.  They have three children, Lauren, Lyndsey, and Colter.